Almost Eden

Almost Eden by Anita Horrocks Read Free Book Online

Book: Almost Eden by Anita Horrocks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anita Horrocks
because I’d be the boss.
    I also decided to pray to God for twenty-one days, like Daniel. Then maybe I’d understand Him better. It wouldn’t be hard to stay away from wine, since I didn’t drink it anyways. If Beth’s cooking didn’t improve, giving up meat wouldn’t be a great hardship either. Not eating any bread might be a problem, but I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.
    Twenty-one days was three weeks. Lots of time for God to make my mother well again. Summer holidays would be more than half over already.
    I wondered if I would have a vision.

    Dear God
,
    Please forgive me for fighting with Beth and Lena, and for what happened to Mrs. Funk and for embarrassing Dad and everything.
    I solemnly promise to pray to you every day for twenty-one days. And I premise not to eat any meat or bread or drink anywine either, so that my heart, mind, and body will be clear and open to understanding your will, just like Daniel.
    I wondered if I should pray in any special way. Should I close my eyes and bow my head and kneel down, or should I just pray anywhere and anytime in my head, which was the everyday kind of praying. I decided I would pray at bedtime, because then I wouldn’t forget, but I would talk to God inside my head, or else Lena would wonder what I was doing on my knees all the time and she’d tell Beth and then Beth would think she’d made some kind of convert and I was going to be a holy roller like her yet.
    I pray it is your will to make my mother well again so she can come home. Please help me to do a good job of painting the garage.
    Amen.

F irst thing after breakfast on Monday Dad made us go apologize to Reverend Funk and Mrs. Funk. They were pretty forgiving. Being who they were, they sort of had to be. I mean, forgiving others their trespasses is in the Lord’s Prayer and everything; it’s practically a commandment.
    At first I think they were surprised to see us but Reverend Funk invited us in all the same. “How’s it going?” he asked.
    I almost blurted, “On two legs, like a gander,” which is what Dad said all the time when someone asked him how it was going. I bit my tongue just in time, but I had to cover my mouth with my hand to keep the giggles inside.
    “Fine, thank you,” said Beth. We weren’t even in the house yet and she was giving me a dirty look. She handedMrs. Funk the coffee cake we’d made. “This is for you. We’re terribly sorry about what happened.”
    “Beth baked the cake,” added Lena. “And me and Elsie made the icing.”
    “You mean, ‘Elsie and I made the icing,’” Beth corrected her. Beth was all the time trying to make us speak English properly so we wouldn’t sound like country bumpkins. She had her work cut out for her.
    “No you didn’t,” said Lena. “Me and Elsie did.”
    Reverend Funk had a good chuckle. Beth should’ve known better than to try and make us look good.
    Mrs. Funk held the cake out in front of her like it might jump into her lap or explode or something.
    “How nice.” She smiled at Lena. “I’ll just put this in the kitchen.”
    I’d never been in the home of a man of God before. There wasn’t a thing out of place in the Funk’s house. Not a speck of dust. The vacuum lines in the carpet didn’t cross each other even.
    Immaculate
was a good word to describe the living room. For sure the rest of the house was the same. Like the Funks were maybe expecting Jesus to pop in for a visit. All ready for the second coming.
    I perched on the edge of the sofa so I wouldn’t get the cushion dirty, and tried to tuck my bare feet out of sight and not squirm too much. At first I worried Mrs. Funk would offer us a piece of Beth’s coffee cake. No matterhow careful I was I knew I’d leave crumbs all over her spotless carpet. But she never offered, which was a relief.
    “We won’t stay long. We just stopped by to apologize.” Beth nodded at me.
    I cleared my throat. I’d practiced what to say on the way over. “I’m sorry

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